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  Opinion   Edit  21 Apr 2018  Cuba after the Castros

Cuba after the Castros

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 21, 2018, 12:26 am IST
Updated : Apr 21, 2018, 12:26 am IST

Mr Diaz-Canel has to strike a path that will be conservative and yet be a reformist in the path shown by Raul.

Miguel Diaz-Canel
 Miguel Diaz-Canel

The significance of the date cannot be missed. It was on the anniversary of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion — when Fidel Castro’s forces defeated the US-backed rebels — that Cuba’s new President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, was formally elected as President on Thursday. It is arrestingly interesting that he is the first man in about 60 years who is not a Castro and who is heading the Caribbean island. Even today Cuba looks like a sepia picture from the ages with automobiles from the classic era, known elsewhere as “vintage” and buildings as well from ages ago. The new President promises to keep Cuba on the path of the revolution although young Cubans may want something quite different as they tasted some changes in the regime of Raul from the Castro dynasty that ran for 12 years, including opening up of the country to the private sector in a limited way.

The new President has a lot on his plate in his balancing act between sustaining a functioning state that delivers services and looking for economic progress by opening up more to the world. A Trump in the White House is not exactly good news either as the historic diplomatic opening with a United States under Barack Obama in 2015 has been closed abruptly. Of course, with Raul still in the background as party president and likely to be peeping over his shoulder, Mr Diaz-Canel has to strike a path that will be conservative and yet be a reformist in the path shown by Raul. A deliberate path towards economic reform is what is being predicted although the President is a known votary of Internet on the island as a concession to modernity. Interesting times are ahead for the tiny piece of Latin America as a youthful generation seeks change.

Tags: barack obama, miguel diaz-canel